Maths and Bridge21

Contextual Mathematics

The affordances of off-the-shelf digital technologies, aligned with appropriate pedagogy, have the capacity to facilitate realistic, problem-solving and collaborative approaches to teaching and learning, providing coherency and context for mathematics.

This research engages in the development of a set of guidelines for the development of technology-mediated, contextual activities, resonant with a view of mathematics as both a problem-solving activity and of mathematics education as involving students in constructing their knowledge via the formulation and solution of problems. 

A corresponding sample set of activities, created in accordance with the guidelines have been developed and piloted with groups of teachers and students in the Bridge 21 environment. These include:

  • ‘The Human Catapult’, which uses video tracking and dynamic geometry to model the trajectory of a projectile.
  • ‘Probability and Plinko’, in which the students construct a Plinko (Galton) board and analyse the paths taken by the marbles.
  •  ‘The Pond Filling Activity’, which addresses problem-solving, area and volume. 
  • ‘Barbie Bungee’, in which the students use video tracking, spreadsheets and dynamic geometry to investigate line of best fit and harmonic 

People:  Aibhin Bray; Brendan Tangney.

Publications   Bray, A., & B. Tangney (2013). Mathematics, Technology Interventions and Pedagogy - Seeing the Wood From the TreesInternational Conference on Computer Supported Education,. 

Bray, A.E. Oldham, & B. Tangney (2013). The Human Catapult and Other StoriesInternational Conference on Technology in Maths Teaching,. 

Tangney, B., & A. Bray (2013). Mobile Technology, Maths Education & 21C Learning,12th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning..